There's a perfect symmetry to the idea of helping other people during the Thanksgiving season by getting a good workout.
That's what a room full of men and women on bicycle exercise machines learned last weekend at in East Meadow, by participating in a Spin-A-Thon to support local families in need through the Kiwanis Food Basket delivery program.
For a $10 donation, participants received a good workout and some fellowship with like-minded generous spirits.
The Spin-A-Thon was the idea of Spinning teacher Jay Knorr, according to Frank Camarano, general manager of North Shore Fitness.
"We've worked with Jay a long time, he was with us in Great Neck," said Camarano. "He teaches here, and he approached me about having a benefit." Camarano tied the idea in with the Kiwanis, and this Sunday, they "gave the idea a spin," as they say.
Commencing at 12:30 p.m., folks on bicycle exercise machines -- gym members and non-members alike -- pumped their pedals under the leadership of Knorr, who was a combined DJ and Drill Sergeant to the packed room, urging participants on and choreographing the musical accompaniment.
"This is a kind of a test of the Spin-A-Thon concept," said Camarano. By the looks of sweaty satisfaction on the faces of participants Sunday, it seemed to be working.
The proceeds of the event will supplement boxes of donatable foods that are on display at the East Meadow gym already, a tribute to the generosity of patrons and the hard work of the Kiwanis program, which delivers food to local families in need three times a year.
According to East Meadow Kiwanis, they provided Thanksgiving baskets for 120 families last weekend -- a record total.
"The recipients wouldn't otherwise have Thanksgiving dinner because of trying circumstances," notes Ivan Launer of the Kiwanis. "This project provides them with the components of a complete meal at no charge."
Others involved in money and food donations as part of the Kiwanis drive are students in local Kiwanis sponsored Circle K clubs, and by shoppers who donate to Kiwanians stationed outside local and .
If residents want to contribute monetary or food donations anytime throughout the holidays, they can still do so, says Camarano. Call North Shore Fitness at 516-832-8444, or drop by their gym at 1940 Hempstead Tpke. in East Meadow for details.